Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Grief vs. Joy

I’m reluctant to write tonight because I feel like if I express what I’m feeling I’ll fall apart but at the same time I need to vent and relieve some emotions.

So here it comes (read at your own risk)…

Once again our life is changing only for the better this time and I’m overjoyed for the future this move will bring our family. Heaven knows I’ve missed my sweetheart so very very much in the last 2 years. September 9, 2009 is when he got the job that took him to Dugway, UT all week long, every week. We’ve had so many twists and turns in the last 2 years I can hardly remember what a “normal” life is. I’ve come to feel that normalcy really isn’t an easy word to define. I don’t really know if our life will ever be “normal” again.

Tonight I’m torn between feelings of joy and feelings of grief. It always takes me by surprise when it hits and it’s not as frequent as it used to be (the grief) but it tends to come when life is changing and my Gabie isn’t here to change with the rest of us. When we moved out of our house into Gary & Colleens basement it was hard and now that I’m pretty sure we’ll be moving to Utah soon it’s going to be hard again. All I’ve known for so long is Pocatello, ID and I’m a big girl and can handle moving with my husband. I want to move with my husband more than anything but I can’t shake the feeling that I’m leaving my baby behind. The problem is that here I know that when our friends look at us they know our history they know of our loss and of our growth and pain. When we go to church people remember my baby. They remember when we brought him to church and blessed him, they remember seeing us walk in the halls with him when he was restless, they remember him playing with their children. When I drive by our house I remember every good and bad memory that I had there with him and I’m scared to death to leave all those things behind.You know that feeling when you’ve lost a child while shopping and even if it’s only just a second or two while their out of your sight. You feel sick and panicked inside until you see them and then you either cry and hug them or yell at them for not staying by your side. Well that’s a little like how I feel right now. I would give to so much to see him and cry and hug him or even yell at him for running away.

Grief really stinks and I really have a love/hate relationship with it. Not to sound masochistic but at times I welcome the pain and the grief. It makes everything so much more real. In the last year the pain has lessened and the grief doesn’t hit hard like it used to but when it seems so long since I’ve had a good long painful cry I feel like I’m forgetting that I lost my son, forgetting that I can’t cuddle him or see him grow and like I don’t know him anymore. Hurting always makes things seem so much more real. But recently I learned how different hurting and joy feel and how REAL joy can feel.

(This story is very tender and was a very spiritual experience for me and I wasn’t planning on blogging about it but I feel like I need to share it.) We were getting ready to go to Utah last weekend and I stopped the car in the Maverik parking lot to pray before we got on the road. David started the prayer and before he had even said 3 words I felt this great burning in my chest. I started to cry and wasn’t sure why for a minute, and then as the warmth got stronger and I knew with all my heart that my Gabriel was right there with me. I couldn’t see him but I felt his presence and it was so strong and pure. I felt so much joy and peace and I wasn’t sad at all but couldn’t stop the tears from falling down my cheeks. It was truly an amazing experience for me. I’ve been waiting a long time for that strong of a feeling that I absolutely knew my Gabriel was there and was happy and at peace. David gave me a funny look and asked if I was ok and when I told him what I felt he said “Well of course he’s here, he wouldn’t miss a family outing”. So I know he’ll always be with me and when I really need it and when I’m in tune with the spirit he’ll let me know he’s there.

The difference between grief and that pure and wonderful joy is so incredibly clear to me now. When I’m sad and I miss him I feel like I do tonight I hurt and I can’t stop crying and there isn’t much joy in it. Just sadness, wishes, wants and sometimes anger. I tell people often that without prayers in our behalf we wouldn’t have made it this far and that is no lie, but on nights like tonight I still ask why and I don’t understand how I’ve made it and how I’ll continue to make it. But I know by morning I’ll have cried a lot of tears and my kiddos with climb in bed with me and hug and kiss me and then I’ll remember why I will and can make it.

So really I know I’m not leaving Gabie behind and I know that I’m doing what I should be doing and all will be well. But change is just so hard sometimes and even if Gabe was here it’d be hard for other reasons. It just seems that with all that our lives have entailed in the last 2 years every change is a rollercoaster of emotions for me.


  1. Oh Amy we will miss you dearly! I'm heart is happy that you will be with your husband, but I'm so sad your leaving! We love you!

  2. YOu are amazing to me. I love coming and reading about your sweet family....and I know change is hard. And sometimes it just doesn't feel like you can do it....but you can. YOU CAN DO HARD THINGS! A change is difficult....but the Lord has his hand in all things and you will be blessed in so many ways. Best of luck to you and your sweet family!!!!